Allen Toussaint: Southern Nights

New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint passed away at the age of 77 today, shortly after performing on stage in Madrid. The songs (from “Get Out of My Life, Woman” to “Lady Marmalade”) Toussaint wrote and/or produced often outshone the jazz pianist himself, as he worked with artists like Lee Dorsey and the Meters, The Pointer Sisters, Etta James, Paul McCartney and more. Covers were even more rampant, as everyone from the Rolling Stones to Glen Campbell amplified his notes and lyrics to the masses. But it’s when Toussaint was behind the piano and mic that an old world New Orleans spirit especially resounded. His 1975 track “Southern Nights” is a tender one that diverges from his usual groovy funk; his filtered voice conjures up the haunting beauty of hot, tranquil nights in the south.